While on the Highland

Contributed by: Kamzason Hangsing
Dated: 17th October, 2013

A few months back, I was lucky to get an opportunity to visit Uttarakhand and get to play with children and bring smiles on their faces as well as the adults, who were victims of flood that had swept away lives of many. As our road trip up the hills began, I could start feeling the presence of the mighty One; the nature itself proves its existence. As we journeyed on, various thoughts came to my mind. Some thoughts were silly, some were quite saddening, while some were filled with joy. However, like any other day, these were just thoughts that come and go.

ProjectKHELAs life goes on, with no time to look back, no thoughts about the visit had occurred to me ever since I returned to Lucknow.

However, just recently, I fortunately happened to meet a friend who had travelled with me and the team to Uttarakhand. This made me want to recall the experience I had in the highland. As I started recollecting the memories, a thought struck me to jot down the things which I had been wondering while in the hills… and I still ponder upon them;

 

  1. What if a bike broke down halfway on the journey?
  2. In cities or towns, usually young boys ask for Bikes or gadgets when they reach 10th std. What do the boys in this place ask for?
  3. No KFC, No Subway, No CCD, but appetites are still satisfied – given a choice, would the elders appreciate having such chain of restaurants and cafes in their place?
  4. With youth slowly getting influenced by foreign culture, what would the aged think of this aspect?
  5. What have we done to ourselves that one location demands the windows of a car to be shut and breathe artificial air, while in another location windows wide open is celebrated with deep sense of satisfaction?
  6. Cool and fresh air, green grasses and trees, long distance walk, a good road, and pets – I believe this was what God had planned for us. 
  7. A Nursery rhyme, “Early to bed and early to rise…” which is taught in schools, including those in metro cities, is not only learnt but lived in the hills.
  8. If people like to feel the fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature then why don’t they try to make it happen in their own places than destroying the nature in the name of Development?
  9. As much as the hills are appreciated and accepted, not much has been done about the people living in the hills. As much as the beauty of the nature and the hills are acknowledged, just as much are the people treated indifferently.
  10. Why is it that hills seem to be more peaceful than towns and cities? 
  11. If the people from the hills and the people from the cities were to switch their places, who would adapt better?
  12. What was the Old Lady up to: Out of nowhere an old lady popped up and mumbled some words while we stopped by the road to have a look at the river that had wiped away lives of many (during Uttarakhand floods). Her body language was not so welcoming. She pointed her stick at the river and spoke words. She seemed to be cursing the river or so I thought.
  13. I recalled my parents telling me that even they are nothing in the face of disaster (when we had met with one incident). I was told to only trust and have faith in God. This visit to Uttarakhand and seeing all the disasters, I am reminded again of how small and helpless we, human beings, are.

For all these wondering and pondering business, I have no end to it but as Bob Dylan would sing it, “the answer is blowing in the wind”…